A MAJOR new exhibition of works by the Camden Town Group captures the beauty of the Somerset and Devon borderland.

Auctioneers Laurences in Crewkerne is the co-sponsor of A Fragile Beauty: Art on the Blackdown Hills 1909 to 1925, on display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton, which portrays the beauty of this area when the First World War was changing English society forever.

The Camden Town Group, led by Walter Sickert, was inspired by daily life in the capital but were then drawn to the countryside, especially the Blackdown Hills. Inspired by the example of the impressionists and post-impressionists, artists such as Spencer Gore, Charles Ginner and Robert Bevan created Somerset and Devon landscape paintings of great freshness and immediacy.

A Fragile Beauty is the first major exhibition at the Museum of Somerset to rely entirely on loans from other museums and from private collectors and includes works from the Ulster Museum and from Manchester Art Gallery. The exhibition also includes works from private collections that have rarely been seen in public.

Helen Carless, Lawrences’ managing director said: “Lawrences are thrilled to be a part of this exhibition. We held a highly successful auction here last spring which comprised pictures donated by various generous supporters of the museum.

"The sale included works by artists as varied as Albert Goodwin, Walter Greaves, Fred Hall and Henri Gaudier Brzeska.

"They yielded more than £18,000 for the museum and helped to get the exhibition fully underway. It is marvellous to see that the show is being so much admired by those who are attending.”

A Fragile Beauty’ has been created in partnership with the Somerset-based curators and art historians Denys Wilcox and Richard Emeny.

The exhibition runs until July 8 and is free of charge. Richard Kay, picture specialist at Lawrences will be giving an hour long illustrated talk on the life of Walter Sickert, called Celebrated but Seedy at the Museum on April 27 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 per person with cheese and wine. Booking is essential on 01823 255088.